Posted on May 21, 2020 by Iosis
From ‘emotionally battered’ to empowered.
Marie* and her husband had been married for 13 years when he left her. With seven kids ranging from 23 to 9 years old, she was devastated – and so were her children.
Marie says she found herself in a very bad place after her husband left – ‘emotionally battered’, mentally unwell and struggling to get out of bed in the morning. And it wasn’t only her that was struggling with the changes: her teenage children also found it very difficult; each reacted differently including one daughter that kept running away. This put even more pressure on her emotionally.
She and her children started undertaking family counselling but Marie says that it was very difficult to get the teenagers to go. The distance to counselling was an issue and she ‘just wasn’t in the right head space’.
Fortunately, she heard about Iosis and started going to one of our parenting programmes, as well as to family counselling with Teina, one of our in-house counsellors. “The parenting programmes were very helpful. It was a huge step for me to go there – and I only went because I really wanted to change.
“It gave me a better insight into what I need to learn and techniques to improve my parenting skills. I also felt better because I was around other parents going through similar challenges – and talking about how they dealt with things.”
Marie says she really needed the counselling both for herself, and for her family. “Teina was great – very professional and supportive. I am a very visual person and we used the whiteboard a lot. Teina would write on it and then I would too – it was such a helpful way of learning.
“The counselling has taught me to take ownership of who I am, to take responsibility for my actions and to not blame myself for everything that has happened, to love myself again and to find my worth.
“The combination of improving my parenting skills and uplifting myself has made all the difference. I’ve dealt with my grief over my husband leaving, and my
children know I will always be here for them. I have never stopped him from seeing them, but when he decides he’d like to build relationships with the kids we will need to talk first as trust has broken and will have to be rebuilt.”
Marie says that the whole process has made her very grateful for the support her own parents gave her when growing up and the support they still give her.
“Teina said at the end of our last session how proud he was of the work I had done. He asked me if I would share my story and I was happy to say yes! I believe another parent’s testimony in their circumstances can help so many others. I am also proud of myself. I’ve come a long way and it’s only the beginning!”
*Names changed to protect identities.